Buprenorphine (Buprenex®, Butrans®, Subutex®, Suboxone®) is an opioid medication used to treat pain or opioid dependence, depending on which form of the drug is used.
Although the medicine is used to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal, buprenorphine itself may cause withdrawal symptoms if taken incorrectly. Because of the way this drug works in the body, withdrawal symptoms may occur if buprenorphine is given to people who are already dependent on other opioids and who continue to take other opioids.
Buprenorphine is a narcotic medication with a significant potential for abuse. In fact, Suboxone (one form of brand-name buprenorphine) contains an additional ingredient that helps reduce the chances of someone misusing the drug by injection (it is intended to be taken under the tongue). If you abuse Suboxone by injection, especially while still taking other opioids, you are highly likely to experience intense withdrawal symptoms.
(To learn more, click Buprenorphine Dosage. This article also provides detailed dosing guidelines to keep in mind while using this medication.)